Demand for outsourced and managed services is on the rise as the average number of sick days taken by employees soars to 9.1 days a year in some markets, leaving SMEs to pick up huge bills as they struggle to cover specialised skill sets, especially in IT, according to regional systems integrator STME.
The firm said that the absences of any length leave SMEs and other employers vulnerable and at risk of reduced performance over the long term. In an attempt to mitigate their risks the region’s SMEs, start-ups and entrepreneurs are increasingly looking to outsource specialist services, with STME witnessing a sharp rise in demand for its managed services, as a result.
Ayman AlBayaa, CEO, STME, said, “While some regions report very low levels of employee absence, some other regions report much higher rates of leave. In a market like the GCC, where we see people of many cultures and nationalities working together, new trends emerge quickly and it is important that owners and leaders of small and medium sized enterprises take the necessary steps to mitigate the negative impact of these.
“In addition to the higher day-to-day employment costs of hiring staff in-house, SMEs are often left uncovered when these employees are absent. As absence rates rise, STME’s Managed Services are being called upon to reduce operational cost and increase efficiency in IT environments.”
The figures, published by PwC, show the highest employee absences are recorded in the UK (9.1 days) and Western Europe (7.3 days) with the economic cost of prolonged absence reaching billions of dollars annually. In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), SMEs account for around 90 percent of registered companies, according to studies quoted by Inc Arabia, employing 17 million people in the GCC alone.
Available to clients in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt and Bahrain, STME said that its Managed Services can be used any organisation, regardless of size.
“The only criteria is that the organisation has a requirement to improve the management of its data and systems.”
In delivering managed services, specific criteria are established on a client-by-client basis, with STME’s team of IT professionals and consultants working closely with each client to achieve their objectives, said the firm.
AlBayaa added, “Managed Services refer to clearly defined, outsourced IT services delivered to SMEs at predictable costs. SMEs know the exact IT services they will be getting and what they will pay for them, with no surprises. Many SMEs today feel that managed services are the most cost- effective way to support their IT infrastructure and the best way to get more bang for their buck. As the region’s leading provider, we bring the best and most effective solutions to each of our clients.”